Developing a Storyline

2nd June 2006 at 01:00
I was delighted to discover your piece about Storyline in last week's edition of The TES Scotland.

It is also encouraging to read Professor Donald Christie's positive comments about this approach. You quote Professor Christie as saying: "We kind of abandoned it when 5-14 came along."

This, of course, is true in many cases but there were notable exceptions.

For example, at Aberfoyle primary, headteacher Carol Omand used Storyline as a means of staff development and, with her encouragement many highly successful topics were developed.

Gill Friel at Fintry primary and later at St Ninian's primary in Stirling has been another head who recognises the value of using Storyline. In recent years, Barbara Frame, star of the Lego video Space Abduction, has taught Storyline to year four students at Moray House, and in November 2005 Storyline was featured as one of the in-depth language studies for BEd4 students at Jordanhill.

The advent of A Curriculum for Excellence has opened the door for Storyline to return to Scottish schools, not in the old clothes of a sixties hit but in 21st century style, having been refined and developed during its travels round the world. As you reported, it is well known in all the Scandinavian countries but also on the west coast of the US.

Delegates from abroad attending the third International Storyline Conference in Glasgow in October (see www.storyline-scotland.com) will only be a fraction of the number of teachers who, in recent years, have visited Scotland in search of Storyline schools.

I have been delighted to be involved in the reawakening of Storyline in Scotland and look forward to further opportunities to share my experience of this creative structure for teaching and learning which has proved to be strong yet flexible. It has stood the test of time and travel and is emerging as one of many ways forward towards A Curriculum for Excellence.

Sallie Harkness

Storyline Scotland

Torridon Gardens

Newton Mearns

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